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How to Make a Blog Post Go Viral

How to Make a Blog Post Go Viral

Writing blog posts are a beneficial way for a single person, business, or organization to gain exposure. Usually there is a certain goal in mind when choosing to start blogging, such as raising awareness, generating sales, or becoming a branding platform. Consistent, unique, and informative blog posts can help with accomplishing those goals when done the right way.

Getting your blog post to go viral is not always possible, but there are some general guidelines that can help increase your chances. Blogs have become as important to the Internet as any other information gathering platform online. While it’s true that blogs are a beneficial resource, some are wondering, “How do I cull an audience and ensure people are reading my posts?” After all, who wants to write for an empty room?

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So the question is, “How do I make my blog go viral?” That’s a good question, and I’ve got some good answers.

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Consider This Question Before You Even Begin Writing

Is the blog topic I’m choosing viral worthy?

  • Choosing a viral worthy blog topic means choosing a topic that isn’t covered too frequently. There’s a slim chance a blog post will go viral if it’s only filled with information that’s been seen numerous times. If you do decide to cover a popular topic, it’s your job to make it fresh for your readers. Otherwise, why would they read your blog when there are 10 more posts just like it? Take the topic and show it in a light it has never been shown in before. This could be tricky if you’re writing for a niche audience, but doing the proper research or performing case studies could help make your post unique. Research will aid in providing you with useful content, such as statistics. It’s a good idea to include a piece of that research in the title. A shocking statistic will get your audience to open the post, and the content will make them want to share it.
  • Do it Better: If your topic is well-known and widely written about, find a hole in the available information and fill it. Finding the most shared content is easy with sites like BuzzSumo.com and Ahrefs.com’s content explorer.
  • Be Relatable: It is important for your readers to feel as though you understand them and the topic. This audience is following your blog for a reason. Make sure you’re staying true to why they started following you in the first place. For example, if your blog is about technology, stay up to date with the latest technology news and information, but also share your opinions and encourage them to share theirs. Honesty and transparency will make your readers feel connected, and they will return because of that connection. Assuming some of the people in the readers’ lives may have similar interests and feelings, they could then share with them.

This may seem obvious, but not everyone is doing it. If they were, every blog would be viral. This first question is worth considering. Without fresh, useful information and a connected audience, your blog will not be successful for long.

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Consider These Questions When Publishing the Blog Post

Are you sharing and promoting your blog properly?

  • If you, your business, or organization has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any other forms of social media, you should share the blog on those outlets. The followers you have on those outlets are a good start for the blog’s exposure. Once you’ve got a captive audience, you only need to put out great content in order to go viral—easy right?
  • If your blog post has high resolution photos, which it definitely should, it’s important to make sure they’re compatible with the social media outlets you decide to use. Examples include Instagram and Pinterest. Try to use one of the main photos from your blog on Instagram and then place the link in the caption. When it comes to Pinterest, make sure the photo you choose is visually pleasing. Pinterest is most popular for image viewing. If the image is attractive, users will be more likely to click on the photo that leads to the blog post.
  • Twitter is another outlet to be thinking about. With a limited amount of characters allowed, you want to be smart about what you choose to write in front of the blog link. A good idea is to grab an interesting quote from the blog post that will be intriguing for your followers. A little sneak peak of what the blog has to offer could help attract your followers, who could possibly even retweet it. Using a hashtag that relates to the topic is also helpful. People who typically view that hashtag for updates on that topic will have better access to it.
  • Share your posts with your network. Whether they are fellow bloggers, your mentor, or your kids, if what you have to offer is beneficial to them or their network they will be happy to share it. Remember to return the favor. Good sharing karma is important. You can’t expect your network to share and endorse your work without reciprocation.
  • Reach out to relevant organizations or businesses that may relate to your post. An email pitch introducing yourself and why your post is relevant for their followers could encourage them to share it on their social media accounts. You can even give them a mention in the blog post before reaching out to them.

Is your blog SEO friendly?

  • If people are purposely going to a search engine to learn about the topic your blog is written about, you want to make sure that your blog has a chance of being seen. Be sure to use headings. Headings help to inform Google of the main topic of the post. Subheadings are beneficial for the readers. They allow readers to skim the blog post and choose which sections interest them most.
  • Do some keyword research. Using specific keywords that have high search volume within your blog post will help your blog appear when those keywords are searched. There are a number of keyword research tools that can help. Google’s Keyword Planner is one of the most popular and easy to use.  Knowing which keywords readers are searching for will help to shape your content, header tags, and title tags. Your blog won’t be going viral if it can’t be found. Further SEO consultation could help to ensure your blogs are always SEO friendly.

When writing a blog post that you hope will go viral, consider asking yourself the questions above. Depending on the quality of the post, it could go viral without having to use everything listed, but try including everything for the best results. You might as well give all these ideas a shot. You never know, maybe something you create will eventually be seen by millions. If and when it reaches that point, it’s in your best interest to follow some guidelines. The site Always Found states the most important guidelines are “be ready, stay on brand, and take context into account.” These guidelines can apply to both attempted viral marketing and unexpected viral marketing. Either way, it’s important to take advantage of the moment.

Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/ via pexels.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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